Previous work has demonstrated that the pretreatment of rabbits with diabetogenic doses of cortisone protects the pancreatic β cells against the toxic effects of alloxan and modifies the blood glucose response to this drug so that in most animals diabetes fails to follow. The present study involves the effect of subdiabetogenic daily doses of 1 mg. per kilogram of cortisone in these steroid pretreated alloxanized rabbits, to determine whether a prediabetic state exists. It was observed that while the administration of this dose of cortisone to untreated animals fails to raise the blood glucose significantly, a marked hyperglycemia was produced in the cortisone pretreated alloxanized rabbits. However, it was not possible to induce metadiabetes even in animals which remained diabetic for up to fifty-nine days of treatment. Morphologically, there was glycogenization and degranulation of (β cells and proliferation and glycogenization of ductular epithelium. Except for occasional ballooning of some β cells, no damage to islet cells was observed. The possible mechanisms by which cortisone alloxan treatment causes a latent diabetic state in the rabbit are discussed.

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